Q + A with Antonio Díaz Andrade
Dr Antonio Díaz Andrade is an Associate Professor in AUT's Faculty of Business, Economics and Law and is an active member of our Immigration and Inclusion Research Group. When asking Antonio to fill in the blanks: " Business Information Systems is ____, _____ and _____ ", this is what he said:
Business Information Systems is an exciting and fun discipline that explains how individuals, organisations and social groups use digital technology and the consequence of this use.
1. When and why did you decide that you wanted a career in information systems?
I joined the Peruvian Air Force when I was 18 years old but completed my training in the Argentinian Air Force. Upon graduating with a BEng in Aeronautical-Mechanical Engineering, I returned to Peru; all in all, I spent 15 years in the military. After leaving the Peruvian Air Force, I completed an MBA with a specialisation in information systems. In the course of my studies, I read a lot about the social transformations that technology would produce. At that time, the idea of the information society was gaining momentum and e-commerce businesses were popping up everywhere (it was also the time when the “dotcom bubble” burst). I started connecting the dots; I wondered how digital technology, which was becoming ubiquitous, could help people living in conditions of extreme poverty in some of the places I visited during my time in the Air Force. I was fortunate to be offered a teaching position at ESAN University, from which I got my MBA qualification. This position gave me more exposure to novel initiatives that involved the use of digital technology. Most importantly, in the course of my teaching, I discovered that I wanted to pursue an academic career in information systems. In February 2004, I landed as a PhD student in information systems at The University of Auckland. I completed my studies in 2007, graduated in 2008, joined the Business Information Systems Department in 2009 and became a member of the New Zealand Work Research Institute in 2012. The rest is history.
2. Describe one of your recent research projects.
I am currently working on four big projects, but the one that I would like to describe here is one I am collaborating on with three colleagues. Two are from the Business Information Systems Department and one from the Management Department. The project is about understanding how indigenous worldviews shape the way Māori information systems professionals develop their artefacts.
3. Describe the key results/main findings.
By adopting a narrative approach, my colleagues and I analyse the stories of three Māori information systems professionals: a game developer, a digital activist and a digital designer. We found that the interplay of the Māori concepts of whakapapa (genealogy), tikanga (traditions) and tino rangatiratanga (self-determination) influence their approach to develop artefacts.
4. What makes this research impactful?
The impact of this research is twofold. First, it pioneers indigenous research and constitutes an attempt to legitimate indigenous knowledge and traditions in the information systems field, which is mostly dominated by western theories and methods. Second, this research shows evidence that Māori developers deliberately engage in using the digital space for cultural reaffirmation.
5. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Travelling around beautiful New Zealand and cooking. I confess that I should go back to my sports routine; I do not practise sports as I used to – and should – do.